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An Example of teaching with GIS

April 16, 2014 in Labs, Student Research Ideas, Teaching Resources, Technology

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Camden’s post about using technology to allow students to gather field data reminded me about an activity that my Field Ecology students and I completed this past January.  The objective was to use student cell phones, google docs forms, and Edgis to gather fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) leaf nest locations at an urban park close to our school.  The activity enabled my students to get outside and collect squirrel leaf nest (called dreys) locations using their cell phones.  The overall intent was to estimate the fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) population from the number of leaf nests in the park.  This activity itself opened up a huge discussion about how accurate our estimate would be.   This discussion triggered quite a literature search by the students to determine what other researchers have found!  As a class we did end up using research literature to help us estimate the fox squirrel population in the park, along with squirrel density and average nest height.  I included the poster that explains the project below.

Squirrel Poster KAS 2014 2

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2 responses to An Example of teaching with GIS

  1. Thanks Bill–very cool.

  2. What a great activity. This is pretty close to what I’d like to use GIS for in my own classroom, and the cell phones are something I hadn’t considered yet. Thanks Bill.

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